Got questions? Try grilling franchisees for answers.
You've finally narrowed your franchise search. But have you asked the right questions? How do you know for sure?
Tap your best resource: the franchisees who've been there. To get you started, we sought one--Harris N. Terry, 27, a Back Yard Burgers franchisee in Madisonville, Kentucky--to answer your burning questions.
How did you know this was the right franchise for you?
Extensive financial, market and demographic research. There's a huge demand for quality products in a quick-service setting. Back Yard Burgers has a strategic position in the market.
Have you ever regretted buying your franchise?
No, but one challenge is managing and maintaining labor. We raised our hourly pay above that of the competition; this has drastically decreased our turnover rate. Improvement in customer service saves us money in the end.
What questions did you wish you had asked a franchisee?
I wished I had asked more regarding the time frame from the day the agreement is signed to the day the doors open for business.
What are the most crucial questions to ask a franchisee?
Where do you see the concept in 10 years? What are annual sales per store? What advice do you have on financing? What do you look for when selecting a site? What insight do you have on managing labor?
Did you have any prior experience in this industry? Is that essential?
I didn't have much restaurant experience, [but] Back Yard Burgers has a training program, which was helpful. What is essential is a desire to learn, work hard and adapt to changes within the industry.